Lesley University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Research the degree programs offered at Lesley University. Learn about its academics, and get admission and financial aid info to decide if this is the right school for you.

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About Lesley University

A private institution, Lesley University has six schools on three campuses in Cambridge, MA and one in Boston, MA. What began as a school to prepare kindergarten teachers in 1909 has become one of the country's largest providers of graduate education for future teachers. In addition, the field of expressive therapies was invented at Lesley University, and they are the first in the country to offer an expressive therapies master's degree program. U.S. News & World Report acknowledged Lesley University in its list of 'Best Regional Universities' in 2011.


Lesley University has six schools and divisions: Lesley College for undergraduate students, the Art Institute of Boston, School of Education, Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences, Adult Learning Division and Threshold Program. The university's most popular degree is the Master of Education. Students in the School of Education may specialize in a number of areas such as language and literacy, special education and creative arts in learning.

Undergraduate students have the opportunity to receive a dual degree including both their bachelor's and master's degree. Some of the areas of study offered are art therapy, counseling and education.

Lesley University offers several Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees through the Art Institute of Boston (AIB); pre-college programs and continuing education are also available at the AIB. Attending this school allows students to be a part of a larger university while receiving an art degree.

Students can also take advantage of Lesley University's online programs, study abroad programs and night and weekend classes. Guyana Lesley Abroad Service Semester (GLASS), the first study abroad program of its kind in Guyana, allows students to teach literacy and explore the culture of the local Yupukari village in which they serve.

Outside of academic studies, there are extracurricular clubs such as the Undergraduate Student Government, Student Athlete Advisory Council, Lesley Performing Arts Club, Multicultural Club and many more. Students may participate in sports in various sport clubs, or within one of several men's or women's varsity sports.


Prospective freshman begin the application process by filling out a common application and the Lesley College supplemental form. They must also submit a common application school report, an official high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores and one teacher recommendation.

Academically, high school students must complete 4 years of English and 3 years of math, science and history or social science, including U.S. History, in order to gain admission. Students who obtain a score of 3 or better on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam will receive credit for that course at the college level.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As a private college, there is only one tuition rate. During the 2011-2012 academic year, students paid $30,545 in tuition. Tuition is due August 15 for the fall semester and January 15 for the spring semester, but a monthly payment plan is available. In 2011-2012 students living on campus paid $13,250 in room and board, while students living off campus paid $6,725; books and materials were estimated at $700. For first-year freshmen who meet specific criteria the university offers merit scholarships.

Although each individual graduate school maintains separate tuition rates, the tuition is generally comparable. A Graduate Assistantship Program is available allowing graduate students to not only receive financial assistance, but to work alongside faculty in the academic learning environment.

School Type 4-year, Private not-for-profit**
Degrees Offered Certificates, associate's, bachelor's, master's, post-master's certificates, doctorates**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semester*
School Setting Midsize, Urban**
Student Body Fall 2011:
5,905 (undergraduate: 1,831)**
Student Housing 20 residence halls and houses*
Schools and Programs Six schools and divisions; over 70 undergraduate and graduate options**
Student-Faculty Ratio 12 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Liberal Arts and Sciences (78)
Master's: Education, Other (483)
PhDs: Education, General (7)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate 38% in four years
62% in six years
62% in eight years**
Admission Rate 66% in 2011**
Entering Class Size 1,831 undergraduates in 2011**
First-Year Retention Rates 76% for full-time students
100% for part-time students**
Undergraduate Application Due Date Fall Semester: February 15
Spring Semester: December 1*
Decision Notification Date After January 15, 3-4 week from receipt of a complete application*
Tuition $30,545 (base rate for 2011-12)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving it) In 2011: Federal grants and scholarships (79%), state and local (20%), institutional (94%), loans (84%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 97% in 2010-2011**

Sources: *Lesley University; **National Center for Education Statistics.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions, Lesley College, 1627 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
  • Phone: (617) 349-8800
  • Website: www.lesley.edu

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